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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  January 1, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EST

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as the senator mentioned, we are members of moms and dads to stop dating abuse. while middle and high schools teach a dating criminal lunchtime. . . conscience -- -- -- curriculum. she had plenty of friends. dance lessons. graduated from st. mary's academy with a degree in secondary education. her friends describe her as having a sweet and compassionate nature. .
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>> her life and did almost four years ago when she was only 23 years old. the police statements and autopsy showed she was brutally tortured and murdered by her ex- boyfriend as rhode island attorney general said after the sentencing." i am hopeful that for debt will reach -- provide examples for
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our teenagers." after her murder, i spent many painful months researching this topic. given the statistics, i began to wonder what we do not a although educators to teach our children about relationships. if she was properly educated about this major health issue, which she still be alive today? i believe she would. i never learned about while pursuing my degrees in nursing, secondary education or my degree in health education. i never addressed with my students. i have since learned that my lack of education is more the norm in this country rather than the exception. as a teacher, i realized we had school policies for bullying and sexual harassment and teach our students and staff about these issues. i strongly believe that the same need to be done for dating violence. i believe that if my daughter
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was taught about dating violence in school and if the parents knew the facts and reinforced this information at home, she would still be with us. >> knowing my daughter, i believe she would have been prepared. we will never know for sure. how many more daughters have to lose their lives at the hands and abusive partner? how many more teens have to suffer in an abusive relationship afraid to tell anyone. the teen violence statistic is alarming. it leads to other health problems. substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, suicide researchers found a strong
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connection between violence among young people and poor reproductive health outcomes. a study published found that one in three u.s. high-school girls who had been abused by a boyfriend has become pregnant. by reducing dating violence, we can reduce unintended teenage pregnancy. the psychological effects on its victims are also devastating. that is devastation i know all too well. dating violence like domestic violence, the stores and kills people. how can we ignore this major health problem any longer? in 2006, my family founded the lindsey ann burke foundation. we have trained 224 help teachers from 89 schools in rhode island for it will donated over $40,000 worth of curriculum to these schools and their workshops we have trained over 1000 teachers so far. more recently, rhode island
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legislators show foresight and took a step by passing the lindsey ann burke act. rhode island mandates annual dating violence education for students in grade 7-12. they have training for school staff. the have a school district policy to address episodes of dating violence at school and school events and the law strongly death -- recommends parent education. this will no longer be ignored. many will get the education they rightly deserve an interesting thing happens when you educate teens, the school staff and parents of the same time for everyone begins to talk openly about the topic, removing the shame and stigma attached. this helps teen victims to come court and seek help and gives the team's knowledge and it helps each other. it helps parents to reinforce the information at home with
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their teens and watch for signs of unhealthy relationships. abusers may think twice about their own behavior and seek ways to change since passage of the lindsay ann bar beckham rhode island, we have gotten support from the attorneys general and the national foundation for women legislators. they apartment with us in our effort to support this law and past dating violence education. as a result of their efforts, several states have passed laws which bills pending in other states. however, i want to point out that some have been watered down due to lack of funding for implementation funding and leadership from the federal level is needed for comprehensive dating violence education for all teams. the last vawa created a program to educate teens for the protection act that would support training in school but is it has never received funding. this funding is exactly what states and school districts need to implement education laws. american teams are experiencing
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alarmingly high levels of abuse in their dating relationships. the survey found the parents are out of touch with the level of teen dating violence and abuse among their teens. teens are not informing their parents and when they do, most stay in abusive relationships. this highlight the need to start funding. to do anything less is selling our children short. we should not delay. >> thank you very much. the next witness is colin campbell -- colleen campbell. she formally served as mayor of the city of san juan capistrano, california. she has endured tragedy several times in her life. the murder of her son, the murder of her brother, her experiences have made her a widely respected victim's
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advocate rights. i know this is not an easy thing but i appreciate you being here. >> thank you, thank you so much mr. chairman, and senators, thank you for the opportunity to allow me to address you today. you are right. it is not easy but it is worth it if it helps. the violence against women act has been very -- a very important addition to help strengthen our nation's ability to assist women, victims of terrible sexual acts, and physical violence however, that act stand alone does not provide enough necessary means to address the crime and their victims. facing reality, our criminal justice system lacks to process and basic common sense. we acknowledge resources alone are not sufficient to bring to
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justice. they help. there are few issues in our justice system that have and will continue to affect hundreds of thousands of families. , just like mine. the sad truth is, my family members -- and many others who would be alive today if our justice system worked like we intended to, like it should. instead, sadly and our home, our only son, brother, and sister-in-law, are all dead. all murdered. >> take your time. >> to adequately judge, it is important for our nation's decision makers -- this makes
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me so mad because i am a tough old broad. i want to be really tough and i am not and i know my husband is watching and that really ticks me off. [laughter] >> you are being as effective a witness as i have seen in 35 years. do not let it bother you a bit. >> god bless you, sir. to adequately judge was going on, it is important for you, our national decision makers, to try and personally identified with the tragedy of crime and the truth in reality of what victims are forced to endure. it really sticks. >> it really stionks. you have taken on the huge responsibility of the most important job in our nation, the safety of our citizens. it is critical to the american people that you fully understand the truth in what is going on. we must have predictable sentencing and keep dangerous criminals behind bars.
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it is critical to have rapid access to dna to save life and say precious time for law enforcement and our crowded courts. it is also important to have a victim's present and heard at all proceedings for they know too much to keep them out of the court room. i realize that it is more than important and it is impossible in a few moments to bring touk youñ5iñ the real world of beinga victim of crime. prghdit is not a great thiny gosh, we have to stop it. for a quarter of a century without a break, my family has been for a living hell. the hell was furnished first 10 by the killers, theçvx criminals who shfxe#iñ in prison. more hell was distributed by the justice system. if our justice system had worked properly along with many others, murdered family would be alive today.
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in 1982, our only son scott, disappeared from the face of the earth. we look for him for 11 months. two parolees had stolen his car and decided that if the car and the summer missing, they would never get caught. the killers statement to the undercover agent was "we took him for an airplane ride, strangled him and thrown into the abyss of the goshen where the sharks would eat him and he would not be found." senators, what the killers have been given three indeterminate life sentences and was released only four years. the other killer was out of work furlough after killing somebody else. you see, both of these criminals have been given another chance. they were given their chance. we never have another chance to
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see our son. we are still going through the eight years of our son's murder trial. we were excluded from the court room. my only sibling, although racing legend mickey thompson and his wife trudy were also murdered. it took another 19 years to get those killers convicted. from the very beginning, i was certain who killed them. naturally, their attempts on my life so they would not be brought to justice however, let me tell you, i am the proud daughter -- of a wonderful man who is captain and chief of
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detectives on the alhambra california police department. at a young age, he told my brother and me how to have courage and always do the right thing. i like hell of a good shot, by the way. not too many victims have self- defense training to survive a quarter of a century of murderers wanted to take them up because they are trying to bring justice. i respectfully ask you to please place yourselves in the position we have been in and only then will you know the best steps to take to provide better safety for our citizens. i thank you for allowing me to set up here and slobber all over myself. [laughter] i guess it is because i've lived most of the night and i am tired but want to be here because i never want other people to endure what the rest of us have gone through. thank you, senators.
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>> ms. campbell, i am glad you took that flight. i'm sorry for what to endure before that. you have four former prosecutors here. the things you have described should never happen to any victim. a crime should not have happened in the first place. delays and everything else after that should not have happened. we try in every way possible to get the resources, the training, the lot in rhode island -- -- the law in rhode island -- these are -- i think the murder cases that i've prosecuted, 75%-80% of them had steps been taken earlier, the
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way been avoided. there's nothing more tragic than being in a murder scene at 3:00 in the morning with blue lights flashing and people sobbing and to have the "what if." thank you for what you said. you put a human face on what so many of us have seen in the past, thank you. sally wells is the chief assistant. of the maricopa county in phoenix. it is a mob was of more than 600 attorneys. she has been an attorney for more than 20 years. she has a degree from university of virginia and a law degree from arizona state university. please go ahead.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman and members of the committee. bank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to present the views of the county office of maricopa concerning the continued importance of the violence against women act and more specifically, about the value of mandatory minimum sentencing for sexual assault and sexual abuse as well as prompted dna and hiv testing in cases of sexual assault and sexual abuse. we're located in phoenix, ariz., and we process -- we have more than 350 lawyers who prosecute more than 350 gallons per year. -- 40,000 felonies per year. as chief assistant, i have prosecuted domestic violence cases, sexual abuse cases, and i currently oversee the
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specialized bureaus who focus on prosecuting those crimes. sexual violence causes lasting trauma to victims beyond physical injury. in many cases, these crimes go unreported due to the pier and trauma associated with sexual or violent person fear of retaliation from the offender and fear of public scrutiny in our experience, it is not uncommon for a sexual offender who is finally caught to admit to other sexual assaults that were never reported. in 2004 statewide study of arizona, it was estimated that only 16% of all sexual assault ever came to the attention of law enforcement. with respect to the fear of public scrutiny, the value of education cannot be underestimated. the dissemination of accurate information about sexual offenders and their victims is essential to change public attitudes about these crimes so
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that victims do not suffer embarrassment or humiliation when they report sexual abuse. one message that should be clear in any statutory scheme and that should be part of any educational effort is that sexual violence is one of the most serious of crimes. the punishment associate with sexual violence should be commensurate with the damage it inflicted. a mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration does send a bad message. with respect to the fear of retaliation, victims' suffering the physical and emotional trauma of sexual abuse and sexual assault need to know that they need a time to heal. victims need to know that the zero offender cannot return to inflict more pain or punish them for reporting a decline --
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crime to authorities. a mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration sends that message. our statutory scheme in hours and a sense that message. it is a class to felony, sexual assault. a person convicted of this is not eligible for probation. a person convicted of sexual assault is exposed to a presumptive sentence of seven years in prison. it mitigating factors exist, the sentence may be reduced to 5.2 years and about ridding factors -- if aggravating factors are found, it may be increased. in every case, a victim may expect the offender to be in
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prison for at least five years. that five-year window of safety not only encourages reported and participation in court proceedings, it also gives the victim time to heal without fear of retaliation. in 2005, ours are not moved away -- arizona moved away from classifying sexual assault of the spouse as a lesser crime and sexual assault. as part of that debate, i was asked by the legislature to provide some information about the effects such a change might have been reporting. some of our legislators were concerned that the higher penalties associated with sexual assault might discourage reporting. in looking at the past reported cases, the crime of sexual assault of a spouse was often accompanied by more serious offenses like kidnapping, which is a class to felony, or aggravated assault, a class 3
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felony. the belief that a lower penalty would encourage reporting for sexual assault of a spouse or, if you want, that a higher penalty would discourage reporting was not supported by the evidence. another important component in dealing with sexual abuse and assault is biological testing. along with the need to know they are safe from many diseases that offenders may have transmitted to them, they need the assurance that they are safe from those diseases. there are several arguments for early biological testing of suspects. although i am not a medical expert, prosecutors generally accept that if a victim reports significant exposure during a sexual assault within 72 hours of the assault, doctors can
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prescribe a 28 date measurement that will help the victim and prevent the contradiction -- the contraction of a chevy. -- of hiv. the sooner this regiment is begun, the more effective it is. and the medication to present -- prevent hiv infection is expensive and because serious side effects. victims who do not know whether the attacker had a tidy are -- h i v e r -- forced to choose between the risk of the side effects associated with the prophylactic treatment side effects could include liver enlargement or bone marrow suppression. information from prompt of vendor testing would alleviate the uncertainty in making that choice in. affirmation that the offender did not have hiv would allow the victim to feel safe. and begin to heal.
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in addition to biological testing, to insure the safety of the victim, another kind of testing plays a vital role in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes. dna testing of the suspect insures the suspects are identified as early as possible. as i mentioned before, many sexual assaults by the same suspect go unreported. others are reported but the suspects are unknown. sexual offenses are often repetitive crimes. the ability to link these crimes to specific individuals early and to specific geographic areas helps law enforcement put an end to serial offenses sooner. sexual offenders are often linked to other types of crimes like burglary, criminal trespass or other types of felonies. dna evidence is important to create an accurate criminal history for suspects.
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it also eliminates suspects so that law enforcement resources are not wasted. dna sampling and testing also brings relief to victims who>> i am sorry to interrupt. we will put the rest of your statement in the record. there will be a roll call votes and and i am trying to make sure we all have a chance for questions. centre sessions and i whispered to each other that the hiv testing is something that we strongly believe in. not only for being able to go on the medication you talked about but be able to avoid it if it is unnecessary and for the peace of mind, lord knows, there are enough things going to rape victim's mind to begin with. eliminated. ms. union, your story -- i amof
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sure it is payable to tell but -- painful to tell but it has the effect and should be heard. your statement that fortunately you were in a community could afford to do the right things. important is that? not only in catching the perpetrator but think you're referring to the counseling that goes along with that. please? >> the main difference and a wealthy community like the one i was raised in is that the system kicks in immediately for the rape crisis system is well- staffed. whether it was someone who speaks spanish or other languages, there would have been some of their to translate which is different if you are in
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an ethnic enclave community where the mind of every traveler. -- they might not have a translator. rural communities suffer for the same sort of thing. crimes that happen on the american reservations and urban communities do not have the same access to translators, to therapists, to counselors, too -- a lot of states don't offer free hiv and st status -- testing. -- m s t d testing. i am more concerned about the victims. i would rather prioritize that money and offer free testing for andstd's immediately. it is those kinds of differences that took me from rape victim to rape survivor and i was able to be an active participant in the criminal justice system that allowed me to help apprehend a suspect in a timely fashion. street.
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without the funding for rape crisis centers in all communities, we create a parallel universe of yet justice were only a few who are raped in wealthier communities get the justice and the treatment. if you cannot get on the path of recovery and reclaim your dignity and integrity and get your melt and -- mental health issues in check, you have the left as a shell of a person. it is incredibly important to have those great crisis centers well stocked and well funded and properly trained. >> let me follow that up. i live in a town of 1500 people i live on a dirt road. my neighbor is half a mile away. that is not unusual in parts of vermont or california.
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rural california to make rural vermont look like an urban area. what about those areas? something happens in a very small town in vermont for california, what is available? i would assume not what his union had available to her? >> that is an accurate description in rural areas throughout the country. the reality of being a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault in a rural area is that help is sometimes miles and miles away. there are barriers to finding transportation. in vermont, rural communities are small and one thing we like about living in a small community, it is nice but victims can i come forward --
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they cannot come forward because their relationships with people living around them. i have talked to many victims who have been living in rural communities in vermont and ohio where the law enforcement person brother of the perpetrator. there are real problems for victims living in rural areas. it is because of the nature and the towns and outlying areas where they live. the other factor is that in domestic violence of its secular, victims are isolated by their perpetrators in many ways. they are isolated socially from their families and friends and isolated economically from jobs and access to family assets. in rural areas, they are isolated geographically. they may live in very rural circumstances. i certainly have the experience of visiting victims of domestic violence and have driven through creeks to get to the place where i was getting them. rural conditions are incredibly difficult for victims and offer
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-- the challenges are huge. >> thank you. my time is up but i would say that the lindsey ann burke, i agree with senator white helps -- white house that education is appreciated. >> thank you, senator, i appreciate that. >>it would have been very easy to for you and your husband to say that you are shutting off the rest of the world. instead, you are helping people. ms. campbell, you're married in 1951, i was married in 1962 so it does not seem that long ago and more. i want to applaud the bravery of both you and your husband.
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these are things where it would be so easy to just run away and not participate. you have been very helpful to this committee. that is extremely important >> request senator, i appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness. it means a lot. you are very special and always have been buried >> thank you very much ms. wells, thank youi will turn over the questioning to senator sessions and the gavel over to senator klobuchar. >> ms. wells, ms. campbell had described individuals, murderers, who had previous records that she readily believed should have been in jail and not able to commit these kind of crimes again.
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you are a professional and have been at this along time. i have come to believe that mathematics is a factor in all of desperate. there is not just that many people who sexually assault women. there are a certain number of those repeat offenders who are exceedingly dangerous. from a purely public safety point of view, is important we identify those persons early and that they be incarcerated in order to protect the people of this country from this kind of violence? >> senator, you said it as well as i could say it, yes, that is critical. there are many studies already battered helping us to identify those persons. as soon as we can identify them, our goal should be to incarcerate them for as long as
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possible >> you represent a very sophisticated department. you have been at this a long time. you have personally tried these kind of cases. do you think there are other departments, district attorney officers, a young prosecutors, may be young police officers, to deal with these cases and are not aware sufficiently to identify a person who may be a highly dangerous offender that needs to be given a longer sentence of as appropriate under the law? do you think we're missing some people and damage because additional crimes that could be avoided? >> i do and i agree with one of my colleagues that said there is a new generation of police officers and prosecutors coming who have not had the education that i have. it is important to keep the continuity of that education and to keep doing the studies that help us identify those offenders.
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i believe that dna testing is one of the tools we have to identify people early. >> tell me about the dna out, in a sexual assault case, is important that the nab determined and maintained -- that the dna be determined and maintained for future use? how does that work to solve crimes and prevent crimes? >> anyone who watches television knows that dna has been a very useful tool in identify suspects and it can be preserved for a long time. hours on a passed legislation -- arizona recently passed legislation grizzly that requires dna evidence to be held for at least 35 years. that legislation was introduced by victims' groups because as we heard today, many sexual
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assaults are not reported or they are reported much later than they have heard. -- then they occurred. the offenders may not be identified for many, many years but the closure, the ability to find out who the culprit was, the offender was, and to find out maybe that they are in prison somewhere else because they have been doing this over the course of their offender career, if you can call at that, is very important to victims. >> ms. union, the person that assaulted you, sexually assaulted a personal letter that same day, is that correct? >> it was a couple of days later. >> if you did not identify that person, the dna that was obtained immediately, investigators would know it is correct? if they had had a previous arrest for rape and they have that on record, you would know exactly who the person was. >> that is correct. as we heard today, to support -- it is important you have
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databases so that law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions can identify a single vendor. >> what is your opinion, ms. wells, on what other departments are doing with regard to maintaining dna around the country? you have any idea how well other departments are maintaining dna in these sexual assault cases? >> i think more and more states are passing legislation to make sure dna is collected early. it is corrected from a broader range of suspects, not just suspects who commit sexual crimes. there are a number of crimes that seem to be precursors or associate with sexual crimes like blurry, petty theft, other kinds of felonies like that. many states are spending their dna testing to those offenders as well so that if we can identify them early and stop it in one sexual assault, it is worth it. >> i couldn't agree more. ms. campbell, thank you for your testimony. ms. burke, that you for your
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work. i wish you had more time to talk about it. i'd think you're touching on an extremely important societal problem that we face and i am glad that you are showing that leadership. all of you, thank you for speaking up and being effective on these issues. we have had, ms. campbell, you're part of the movement of the victims' rights and it has really changed the law enforcement mechanism. i think that is one reason that murderers are down substantially from what they were a 1980 when you lost your family members. i warn, however, about a movement as going soft on the lessons we have learned. certain people are dangerous. the fact that they attacked one person is indicative that they may attack another. we have to maintain tough
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sentences. i wish it wasn't so but we have to force certain dangerous offenders. thank you, madam chairman, and it is a pleasure to work with you. >> thank you very much. >> i have enjoyed your leadership on our delegation to canada. it was a fabulous group and you did a great job. >> if you did pretty well, singing with the fiddler. [laughter] i won't reveal more. there was a lot of negotiations in canada. senator white house -- >> thank you. ms. burke, you have done such good work in this area. as we look to rhode island as a potential national model here, what further feedback would you give us on what elements of the lindsay ann burke program has been received, have been most
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effective, what are the lessons learned from what you have done that you think congress should focus on? >> i think the lessons learned have been the need for funding. the implementation of bill lot -- the law is working in rhode island because the association's stepped up to the plate and said we would be willing to provide free training for school staff. there was no funding attached to the bill when it was passed in rhode island. however, the drawback in other states is that many states have been tensions but they're very concerned, especially in these hard economic times, about the cost of training school personnel. i have gotten calls even this week from the state of ohio, from the mexico asking how we implemented lindsey calls law
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and what was the cost involved. for it to be successful in the amount of other states, we have to have funding. i also believe very strongly as an educator that we need to pass lindsay's lot maintaining all the components of law. it would be a severe drop back -- drawback to educate the students and not have the staff educated at the same time also, i think we would not want to leave their parents out of that equation. you need to educate all three at the same time i do not think it takes a great deal of funding not as much as some people would imagine because once your staff is educated and your help -- help -- teachers
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are designated in other states, not all states require health education but what other teachers are designated to be the primary teacher of the student, once you have that training done, it only has to done -- be done sporadically for new hires. that could be in college education programs for student teachers. >> you want funding for the program to be persistent every year? >> correct. initially, you probably need a substantial amount of funding and after that, in time, that number should drop down. it would be just for maintenance after that. i have seen firsthand the success. two of my former students have come back to me at difference times, won when to deprive a high-school and one that went where public bicycle and after learning about it in middle school, they found themselves in those types of situations do didn't to the nature of an abusive relationship. there were not aware at the beginning.
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in one case, the student recognize the warning signs and was able to get herself out. in the other case, it was the friends who had the education in a grade and recognize the signs and work with them to get them out of the relationship. i know the education works. there's no doubt in my mind free radical students have a right to get that education. to deprive them of that education is simply wrong. we can save lives i was talking to katherine pearson last -- katharine pierce evening and i figure will be difficult to measure how manymany people will not come forward and tell us. long after they graduate, when we teach is education, we are teaching them life skills. it is no different than anything else that we teach in health class. we teach them about heart disease prevention, the chances of becoming involved in abusive relationships in high school are for > them developing heart
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disease in high school. >> i recall in 1999 when i was attorney-general, we did a film and high school and distributed to all the high schools. that program did not meet the test of persisted. i will take that lesson from you today. >> i was trying to find that tape to see if we could duplicated and handed out to our schools >> in my last seconds, for maxwell's, -- four of ms. wells, suspected perpetrators of sexual assault and obtaining dna samples, what level of suspicion do you recommend be reached before the testing can take place? do you require full probable cause or a more clearly
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articulated suspicion? at what point would be appropriate to require dna testing in the spectrum of to we have a victim who has identified who the perpetrator is and we know there is. there is a wide band of suspicion. at what point should this kick in? >> in our state, and i agree, the standard is probable cause. that is the same standard that police used when they make an arrest. we also have a statute that allows a dna testing for certain crimes, not every crime, upon arrest or charging by a prosecutor. >> again, do probable cause. >> there is at least probable cause that the offender did commit the offense. >> that is adequate for your purposes? >> i think that is it fair balance.
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>> the very good. thank you, chairman. this is a wonderful panel of witnesses, i have to separate >> thank you and i want to also give my thanks to the courage for you ms. union and were you told that story. it is clear you are a survivor and have you told us. ms. burke for the great work you are doing and ms. campbell, i know your husband was proud of you. you just showed him. i would not worry about that. thank you for your work. i want to follow but a few things that the other senators asked. senator sessions was asking about the dna which is incredibly important right now, one thing that i found recently in the last 10 years, we call at the csi effect, that juries are expecting to have dna and you might have a sexual assault that does not have dna or it might have a domestic abuse case that most likely will not have dna. we have lost a case or to, some smaller cases, because the jurors said later why there
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wasn't dna. our state was the last one or the prosecutors at the last word. we get that changed. do you want to comment on the evidentiary changes that have allowed -- one big issue was allowing us to go forward with domestic abuse cases when the victim would not testify because we have other evidence from the scene. and what you have seen in the development of laws or evidence year techniques and technology to help with those cases where you don't have dna. >> you are absolutely correct. juries expect some kind of forensic evidence and especially dna in cases of sexual assault. that is probably the crime or this csi-the fact -- >> tourists expect this and if they don't have that than the person -- than they might think -- juries expect this and if they don't have that evidence, they might declare the suspect not guilty.
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>> there is a case where there was no dna and we could obtain a conviction for sexual assault. we get pages of questions, was the dna done? why wasn't it done? sometimes, because dna is a complex technical analysis, the questions get very detailed. some jurors have asked a very complex medical questions during the trial of a sexual assault case. it is very important not to lose sight of the fact that if you do not have dna, you still have to fall back on all the things we learned when we prosecuted sexual assaults before. interviews -- it to do as many people as possible. it is useful to tape record interviews.
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it is useful to get other kinds of evidence that corroborates what the victim has to say. even if you get dna, you should not stop there. you should continue to get all of that evidence because you do not know, maybe the dna will not be admissible later on. it is still critical to investigate these crimes as early as possible. >> thank you. one thing you talked about with kids at the scene and his london home, the statistic i used was that a kid growing up to buy a home -- in a violent home was 76% more likely to commit violent crime. we had a picture of a woman with a band-aid on her nose and a baby in her arms. do you want to talk any advances that have been made.
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there has been more interaction with child protection in bringing them and so kids get help when they live in a home and kids can be witnesses to violence and what is happening with that. should we be looking at this aspect of it, as well? >> beckham for the opportunity to talk about children live in violent homes. kids are at particular risk for the statistics i used as a kid living in a pile of homes are 300% more likely to be abused themselves. that is incredibly distressing. not only what are they more likely to commit violent crimes as adults but they are likely to suffer from abuse. a child is witnessing domestic violence is suffering from abuse. there have been great strides made for it i can talk about vermont. we are proud of the work we have done working with children. our world grant in vermont has greeted the opportunity for us
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to create a unique and innovative relationship with our children's protective services division of our state government. we were able to provide intensive training for child abuse investigators in that unit. they are now experts. the work with victims of domestic violence and their kid spread in many cases, the victims of domestic violence are almost held accountable for the abuse their children are suffering at the hands of their abusers. in vermont, this innovative program allows investigators to go in and do an investigation and instead of blaming the victim for the abuse that the kids are suffering, they work with the victim to be able to bribe -- provide them with the support they need and make choices about living in a safe and peaceful home. >> very good. you did such a good job of talking about the fact that you had been raped in an area that had the resources that very much resonated with me.
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i have seen that in smaller counties that do not have the resources you may have a rape crisis center that does not have the resources. i want to bring up the issue of the rape kits. we have been hearing there have been efforts to make a victim's pay for them. -- to make victims pay for them. >> we have had this discussion for the last few years. i live in california and there is a backlog. as a rape survivor myself, when your dna is collected, it is stuck in a brown bag. it sits on the counter. i see the line brown bags that children, women, men have. you become as brown bag.
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>> this is dna that could connect people to a crime and identify a perpetrator? >> 0 yes, and you know after working in this business, everyone who deals with rape and domestic violence, you realize there is a priority on certain brown bags. they call them sexy victims. the victim's -- sexy victims are a white woman who is attractive and has money. if you're not a sexy victim, that includes african- americans, latinos, anybody who is not a young, white, educated attractive woman is not deemed a 60 victim. -- a sexy victim. those cases are the ones that cases. it is so transparent. when you sit there and see the row of these brown bags, it
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breaks your heart. when i talked to rape victims in the united states, i have to give them the same information because the likelihood of justice that you think you will get because you watch csi - they took id and i and i wa -- they took might dna and i thought the rapist would be apprehended and i can get on the path of recovery and it does not work like that for the majority of people. when we start to prioritize certain people, we create a parallel universe of justice. that has to stop. >> all right, thank you for that point and that -- and as we look at this re-authorization, sometimes laws and funding is set back into a time when we did not have the technology and state laws that we have now. this is an opportunity to look at what we should be doing differently and better.
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to end on a positive note, you said this save taxpayers $14.8 billion in the first six years alone. can you comment about that and where you see those savings? >> back in 1984, when i was a young person living in cleveland, ohio, i live next door to a family where the husband was violent but we have to tell the police officers there was a burglar outside our house to get them to respond. they would not come to that house if we call the police. that family -- the victim was left, there was no support for their no prosecution, there is nothing. that family went on and there were a family that was poor and used social services. it was fairly hopeless. today, that same family would
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be embraced with a social services net that would, in many ways, especially with the new economic justice work and our movement, it would not only help them maintain safety but help them move forward in their economic goals. for me, it is money well spent. >> thank you. part of the successes we have had is a tribute to all of you and the way this movement has developed on the grass-roots level with victims saying they will not take it anymore and be willing to come forward and speak. i want to buy fuel for that. we're looking forward as a committed to working on this bridge is a bipartisan effort. it is strongly supported by both sides of the aisle. i want to thank you and wish you well. your courage is unbelievable and it will make a difference. thank you very much. this hearing is adjourned.
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>> happy new year. it is 83-day weekend and book tv. we will take your calls sunday on in-depth." >> "washington journal" is next. later, the use of political cartoons. at noon, a call-in show from earlier with russian prime minister vladimir putin. tonight, we finished our week- long series with supreme court
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justices. starting at 8:00 eastern, a conversation with the newest member of the court, justice sonia sotomayor. and then former justice sandra day o'connor. and coming up this hour, a conversation on immigration. the immigration policy center and the policy for immigration studies will join us. better that, the obama administration plus handling of foreign policy and diplomacy. a professor from georgetown school of foreign service is our guest. live from the nation's capital, this is "washington journal."


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